Spyware creator arrested for allegedly creeping on thousands for 13 years

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Durachinksy targeted computers that were used by individuals, but owned by their employers, schools and even a police department.

What Fruitfly proved was that Mac software was no more secure than any other operating system and it could be knocked over by a 15 year old. Fruitfly was installed on computers from 2003 to January 2017.

According to a 16-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday in US District Court for the Northern District of OH, its creator, Phillip R. Durachinsky, 28, used it to spy on thousands of victims for more than 13 years.

The government charges Durachinsky with stealing sensitive information including passwords, tax, bank and medical records, photographs, web searches and "potentially embarrassing communications", the Justice Department said in a news release. The malware would notify Durachinksy if his victims typed words associated with pornography on their computers and the hacker is alleged to have collected child pornography through the virus. Its features had looked like they were actions that would support interactivity: it had the ability to alert the attacker when users were active on the computer, it could simulate mouse clicks and keyboard events.

USA officials say the suspect saved millions of images from victims' computers and often kept detailed notes of what he saw. Using the stolen login credentials, Durachinsky was able to access and download additional information from third-party websites.

Durachinsky is not only accused of snooping on home users.

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In addition, because some of the victims were minors, he has also been charged with producing child pornography. He handed over his full findings to law enforcement a year ago.

It gets worse. According to the DOJ, Durachinsky allegedly watched and listened to people who were infected.

Among the computers hacked by Phillip R. Durachinsky were 100 at Case Western Reserve University, according to an affidavit filed in conjunction with the case by FBI Special Agent Michael Brian.

The announcement of the indictment was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, First Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja for the Northern District of OH, and Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI's Cleveland Field Office.

Mr Anthony said numerous organisations that Mr Durachinsky is claimed to have compromised, shared key information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies helping them uncover who was behind the hack attacks.

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